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Government & Politics

Time is Running Out to Pass Ohio's Proposed "Annie's Law"

photo of Walt Rooney and lawmakers
Walt Rooney is urging Ohio legislators to curtail drunk driving.

A new bill could allow expanded use of in-car breathalyzers for people convicted of drunken driving. Backers of the bill hope state senators will act soon on the measure.

Annie Rooney of Ross County was killed by a repeat drunk driver in 2013. Her brother Walt has been asking Ohio senators to pass what’s been called Annie’s Law, which provides incentives for requiring drunk drivers to install the devices.

“It would act like a probation officer every time they try to start their vehicle. If they do blow alcohol into it after they are convicted, it would not start the vehicle.”

The bill passed the House easily, but Republican Sen. Jay Hottinger says he’s not sure there’s time to pass it in the Senate.

“The difficulty I think right now is the process of whether or not we can have enough committee hearings to be able to weigh the bill and, in short order, get it through.”

If the Senate doesn’t pass it, the bill will die and the process would have to start over with the next General Assembly in January.